Today we had the Power Electronics UK (http://www.power-electronics.org.uk/) relaunch event. Power Electronics UK is a not-for-profit membership organisation which aims to make UK a leader in the area of Power Electronics. With this re-launch, Power Electronics UK issued a white paper:
MASTER OF RESEARCH ON RELIABLE AND COMPACT HIGH PERFORMANCE POWER ELECTRONICS IN ELECTRIC AND HYBRID VEHICLES THROUGH POWER SEMICONDUCTOR ENGINEERING
The focus of the project will be to design devices that mitigate from issues that cause reliability problems and fully exploit the advanced characteristics of wide band gap semiconductors.
Systems and applications that incorporate power electronics and therefore power semiconductor devices have high efficiency and advanced functionality. Wide bandgap semiconductor materials such as the Silicon Carbide (SiC) and the Gallium Nitride (GaN) have superior electrical characteristics compared to silicon. As a result, high voltage power devices can get a real step-improvement in performance, efficiency and the ability to operate at elevated temperatures.
In hybrid and electric vehicles, the electric powertrain requires less cooling and it becomes more efficient if wide band gap semiconductor devices are used in the power electronics system. Further, the fuel economy of the vehicle increases and more cabin area becomes available.
Similar benefits arise when wide bandgap power devices are used in other applications, for example in power transmission systems, in conditioning power from wind and solar farms, consumer electronics and so on.
This project aims to provide with the development of a wide band gap high voltage device that fully exploits the material characteristics of wide band gap semiconductors such as the SiC through power semiconductor engineering.
Depending on the student’s academic background, we foresee a suite of studies that may include:
- Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) modelling of semiconductor materials and devices. This includes modelling material parameters such as the bang gap, effective mass. density of states, activation energy for implants, electron mobility.
- Physical modelling of traps due to defects including the development of traps model.
- Process simulations.
- Layout design.
- Circuit design, experimentation, measurements and characterisation to demonstrate of the overall performance of the proposed solution.